Big defensive effort helps Patriots beat Vikings

Courtesy of NBC Sports Boston

Bill Belichick and the Patriots put a lot of respect on the Vikings this week, and you could see why.

A stout Minnesota defense kept the game at 10-10 late in the third quarter, but the Patriots eventually  pulled away thanks to touchdowns by Josh Gordon and James Develin to beat the Vikings 24-10 at Gillette Stadium.

Unlike last week against the Jets, the Patriots got off to a fast start, as they went up 7-0 on their first possession. A Stephen Gostkowski field goal made it 10-0 before the Vikings were able to get within three points just before halftime.

The teams traded scoreless possessions in the third up until Develin scored to make it 17-10 and put the game out of reach.

New England got a mostly brilliant day from Tom Brady, going 24-of-32 for 311 yards and a touchdown with the only blemish being an interception by Eric Kendricks in the fourth quarter. Brady also (finally) broke the 1,000 yard mark, with a five-yard run in the first quarter.

But the big story here, once again, was the effort New England's defense put together. They held Minnesota to 269 yards of total offense and kept wide receiver Adam Thielen fairly quiet. He did have a touchdown catch, but it was only one of five catches for 28 yards. The unit also mustered two sacks of Kirk Cousins for a total of 18 yards.

Rookie cornerback J.C. Jackson also had himself a nice game. The Patriots trusted him to cover Thielen and Stefon Diggs at different points in the game and held them in check. He also had one pass defended, which turned into a Duron Harmon interception. Jonathan Jones also had an interception to end the game.

The Patriots, now 9-3 and in control of the No. 2 seed in the AFC, will travel to Miami next week to face Danny Amendola, Brandon Bolden and the Miami Dolphins.

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